Since 2000, I’ve been a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer. That’s 21 years in the C-suite. Over those 21 years I guided my businesses through 9-11, years of the country at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, multiple hurricane landfalls in Florida, the Great Recession, the COVID pandemic, the ransomware threat, radical political polarization, and social justice movements.
Sometimes I wonder how we made it through.
It hasn’t just been challenging. There were many economic opportunities and new technologies to leverage:
– Business Intelligence technologies
– the explosion of the internet economy
– the proliferation of smart mobile devices
– virtualization technologies
– social media
– the sharing economy
– 3D printing
– personal digital assistants
– the privatization of space
– electric and self-driving cars
– quantum computing,
– the mainstreaming of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
During that span, I, and every other C-suite executive, were navigating those challenges while trying to take advantage of new opportunities. While there is a strategic aspect of our responsibilities, there’s also an operational aspect that requires constant management…marketing, sales, product delivery, support, billing, compliance, security, etc.
Think back to the challenges and opportunities listed. How does one keep informed on them? News articles, blogs, government notifications, industry newsletters, special interest emails, tv, video streaming, podcasts and more. It is all Unstructured Data. How does one keep up with it all during normal times? Further, what about during the tumultuous times? The volume of information becomes more critical, more voluminous evolving at a faster pace.
As mentioned in some of my previous articles, the world has access to many sophisticated business intelligence and dashboard systems. This has revolutionized executive decision-making and management span of control of your operations. They can give you a great perspective on the internals of your business. But what about those external factors? It requires Content Analytics.
When major world events occur, you can be forced to respond with everyone else. With Content Analytics you can not only respond faster, even first but can use that advantage to dictate to your competitors.
This is because Content Analytics can help you access 80-90% of the data you didn’t even know you had, Unstructured Data. This enables better decisions based on internal data you can now access as well as externally produced data.
Nobody can maintain the pace necessary to consume it all and make the necessary decisions for your business. It is all data that is external to your business…coming from the outside world. Imagine what you can do if that large volume of constantly evolving Unstructured Data could be automatically gathered, read, analyzed, structured, and visualized for you. That is Content Analytics at work for you.
9-11 is a good example. At that time, I was Chief Information Officer for a data-center management company with 35 data-centers throughout North America, including 2 in lower Manhattan. As the towers were burning the landline and mobile phone services in Manhattan were overloaded. We lost voice contact with our own data-center employees. We were very concerned for them.
Once we were able to sift through the news reports and understand the scope of what was going on with voice services, we manually shifted our voice system into Voice-Over-IP mode. Then, we were immediately able to communicate with our employees. We enabled voice communications for our data-center customers. With Content Analytics monitoring the news feeds our systems could have been re-routed automatically and we could have stayed in constant contact with our employees.
In the coming week take note of all the external information you consume that is unstructured. Imagine what you can do if all the information could be delivered to you, analyzed automatically, and integrated into your decision-support systems. In my next article, I’ll review the evolution of Data Analytics technologies and how they led to Content Analytics.